You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

Reported Michigan verbal commitment Willie Henry is better than his rankings indicate

By Kyle Meinke

Michigan's losing streak is no more.

After striking out on four consecutive recruits, the Wolverines have secured a verbal commitment from Cleveland defensive tackle Willie Henry, according to tweets from Go Blue Wolverine's Sam Webb.

Henry has denied he joined the class, but Webb says he confirmed the commitment through Henry's high school coach, Ted Ginn.

Henry is the 24th player to verbally commit to Michigan's 2012 class. National signing day is Wednesday.

He is a 6-foot-3, 273-pound prospect from Glenville High School in Cleveland. That's the same high school as current Wolverines defensive lineman Frank Clark. And, like Clark, Henry is a late-bloomer.

Henry is a three-star recruit (as was Clark) whose offer sheet is solid, but not spectacular. Most of his offers came from Mid-American Conference and Big East schools.

He is not ranked at his position, nor nationally. He's the 59th-best player in Ohio, according to Rivals.

But Scout Midwest recruiting expert Allen Trieu says that's not indicative of his play.

"You watch his film and you go, 'why isn't he ranked higher?'" Trieu said. "You also go, 'Wow, why didn't he have a ton more offers?'"

Trieu said Henry's stock didn't rise until now because his junior season at Glenville was unspectacular. So, he didn't generate much buzz among analysts until putting together a solid senior season.

In a way, his situation is similar to that of Clark, who also did not play much as a junior. In turn, he was not ranked at his position, nor nationally, when he committed to Michigan and was the 52nd-best player in Ohio, according to Rivals.

Clark played this past season, and made a critical interception in the Sugar Bowl. He's considered an important component to the future of the defensive line, despite his unspectacular recruiting status.

Trieu foresees a similar career arc for Henry.

"He just didn’t play much, didn’t really make an impact as a junior, and that happens at talented schools like Glenville," Trieu added. "He was a kid who just completely stayed off the radar until late. But, once you saw him play, you could tell he can really play.

"Michigan's getting a very good player, even if he isn't ranked like it."

Henry's commitment ends a run of four Michigan targets who went elsewhere. The Wolverines' last known target is four-star offensive lineman Jordan Diamond, who is expected to announce his decision Friday.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Rightmind250, you don't deserve an answer for that comment you made about me. You're insignificant, an afterthought. Go live on the ohio players accomplishments. It's obvious you have none of your own. Whatever little time I spent playing, its way more than you ever have. So go impress the ohiophiles and leave the men alone.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

Hoke is getting smacked around by Meyer on the recruiting trail. Landing multiple 5* star guys is a much better bet than getting MAC guys. At least Hoke had some time to lock up some Ohio talent before the pipeline abruptly shut down! Now go down to Columbus and beat Ohio, then the recruiting trail will even out.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Heyyy! Kudos to Kyle Meinke for honest reporting practices. You gave credit to the guy who originally broke the story and cited what his source was. Awesome! Too many times we hear stories that are "he siad - she said" and end up being false, early reports of the passing of Joe Pa being one that comes to mind. I'm just glad we can trust AA News.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 8:10 a.m.

Will Henry. Good name for a hard hitting kid who can give Ohio a whooping over his career- for not offering him a scholarship.

Albee Macaw

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

Urb is a machine. It is a full year before the class of 2013 can sign their scholarship papers but Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has already locked up the top two prospects in the state of Ohio.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

Quit...went 8-5...then quit again. Yeah, he's a machine. A quitting machine.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

So what. Michigan has locked up the #1 rated quarterback in the country. Ohio isn't the mecca of recruiting. Yes, they have a lot of great players, but I've seen players just as good or better come from Chicago.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

There is a long history at Michigan that the coaches evaluate the recruits, not the recruiting services. For the most part they've done a pretty good job. I've been around long enough (since 1966) to have seen some 4 and 5 star recruits become busts and never rise above scout team. I've also seen players not very highly ranked become All-Americans and have stellar pro careers. You never know. Bo used to say that you can't evaluate how good a recruiting class is until their junior year. So I never scoff at 3 star players. Willie could be the next All-American at Michigan. Only time will tell.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

3star, MAC caliber athlete?


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Alabama, and everybody else has 3-star recruits, too.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

I guess Jordan has lived up to his rating, average at best. Too slow and not able to play pass defense. Too small to play linebacker. Only thing eft, blitz him that way he won't be exposed in the secondary.

Chad Williams

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:36 a.m.

Jake ryan and frank clark were rich rods who the heck are those 3 star guys as well. Outta all the four and five star players half lr maybe less will play on sundays. Talent gets u to college but hard work and dedication pays off.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1 a.m.

Time will tell ... Jordan Kovacs was a "MAC caliber" talent as well, let's not forget.

Terry Star21

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

Hope this verbal is confirmed and he signs Wednesday - love those big defensive guys all day long ! I think too much is being made by the media and outsiders about the four recruits that did not pick Michigan recently. We didn't 'lose' anything as reported, how can one lose something one never had ? They had simply listed Michigan as one of their selection schools - had they opted for Michigan then yes, this would have been a win. Some media and sports analysts (not ours @ have downgraded Michigan since July in our recruiting. Gee, we filled some important holes, beefed up and quickened up some crucial areas. Hoke and staff came in with little or no knowledge of their team last February and look what the accomplished ! My optimism is high, but reasonable on what our coaches can due with their new recruits (wait for it)..........This is Michigan for God's sake ! MgoBlueForTiM......our recruits; small pieces of crystal - together will make the Crystal Football.

Chad Williams

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

Michigan didnt downgrade other teams had room left to upgrade. Michigan recruited quite conservative to ensure a solid class. Hoke didnt recruit heavy outside michigan and ohio until they had a successful season. Stars dont matter much to me as the offer list tells you the story.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

If you haven't noticed Terry, recruiting is very competetive. And yes, there are losers and winners. The winners get the 4 and 5 star recruits and the losers settle for unranked 3 stars, got it?


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Sounds good. Welcome aboard, Willie. Now let's make this class a little more shiny with Jordan Diamond. : ) Go Blue!